Monday, July 31, 2017

back to work

Tomorrow I start back to work. I'm soooo sad to see the summer come to an end, however having the kids up at their grandparents makes it a little easier. I don't feel quite as bad since I won't have to literally leave them in the morning. I try not to think too much about our lazy mornings, blank slate days, and just fun we had together. I know I'll get into the swing of things again, especially once they go back to school, but it will still be hard to wake up in the morning...

Yesterday Chris and I headed out to the desert. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then hit up Sam's Club to restock our empty fridge/freezer.

This morning my dad and I did a short, but grueling hike. It was through an area behind their house that was recently burned in a fire. While it wasn't the most beautiful (charred trees everywhere), it was cool to see the new spurts of green already starting to pop through.

It's easier to have the kids gone when I know how much fun they are in the form of Kendall licking her plate clean at John's Incredible Pizza today. :)

We have plowed through lots of episodes of The Office this weekend. I think that now ranks as the funniest series I've ever seen.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

channel islands

Yesterday we got home from my last hurrah of the summer, a week with Chris' family at the beach. :) Some highlights:

Our house was right on the beach so the kids had easy access. They spent a lot of time here...

Chris' parents bought the kids each a new Lego set. They had the whole downstairs to spread out and many hours were spent assembling and playing with their sets.

The house came with a few bikes and we were able to take a couple rides.

As expected, our kids were the first ones up every single morning. They were so sweet in trying to be extra quiet and I didn't mind at all. ;)

Typically on our vacations, each family takes a breakfast/dinner to prepare for everyone. Here Kendall is helping Debbie make biscuits for their breakfast.

On one of our days, we took the train to Santa Barbara. The kids/dads went to a museum and Rebekah and I sat at Starbucks, shopped a little, and walked around State St.

Lots and lots of games were played. While I'm not a game person, the rest of the family is and our kids LOVED playing so much.

The cousins simply adored being together all week. Chris and I both agreed this was a highlight for us to see.

Chris and I left yesterday. Our kids stayed and will spend the next week with his parents. I start work Tuesday and they don't start school until the following week. While this will really help us out (and I know they'll have a blast), Chris and I already miss them. :(

Monday, July 17, 2017

our sunday...

The kids and I were out the door by 7:15 Sunday morning. I had to stop at the store for some marshmallows to use in craft for Sunday School. I've subbed a few times this summer and yesterday was one of my days. For the early service, they put ages K-5 together, so Kendall and Cameron like to go so they can be together and also have mom as the teacher.

The class went really well. Sometimes it can be hard to engage such a big age range, but hopefully I did a good job.  So by 9:15, we were ready for some outings.

We first stopped at Starbucks. I'm addicted to the Sweet Vanilla Cream Cold Brew. I justify my frequency in that I have a gift card...but I really shouldn't use it all this summer!

Next was Chuck E Cheese. We had some tokens we found in the car leftover from last summer. We got there right when it opened and I'm REALLY glad we did. Apparently they check all the machines in the morning. This also means they leave all the tickets sticking out for anyone to grab. The kids loaded up!!

Sam's Club was right down the street, so we headed over for ICEE's (I don't partake...they gross me out). However, we are quickly learning that, since Sam's is a Walmart company, they tend to be very, "Walmart'ish"...meaning they had one food court worker and a huge line. We learned our lesson last week when it took us 30 minutes to wait in a line that would have taken 5 at Costco (where they always have plenty of cashiers). The kids did not want to wait we left.

Luckily 7-11 was just down the street.

The rest of the afternoon didn't include a whole lot. Cameron and I decided to send my dad a text. He is known for taking bike rides in the middle of the day when it's 100 degrees outside. I think my love for heat comes from him.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

party of five

*I like to browse various blogs and this time of year the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is a huge topic of conversation and excitement. I would like it if Target had an anniversary sale. I could get excited because there would be things I could actually afford. ;)

*Yesterday I took the kids to a planetarium at the library. Cam seemed to enjoy it. Kendall reported it was, "Kinda boring." At least it was something to do! :)

*I started watching Party of Five recently. While it's 20 years old, I like having a series where I can get attached to the characters and their story.

*Chris left for Vegas this morning with two of his friends. I went over to Ana's house (whose husband was one of them) and had a great time. The kids swam and even brought their piggies to share. :)

*One of the things I've done recently, in an effort to fall asleep, is listen to a podcast. I really have enjoyed listening to Mike Erre. He has had several guest speakers, which have all been super interesting.

*I keep pushing the thought that I only have two more weeks of summer out of my head. The kids and I have had so much fun together. They are the best little outing buddies, even if it's only going to the library and finding some books on guinea pigs. :) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

harry potter fan

*While in Reno, Deb made the most amazing coconut rice. She had actually made it on our prior visit (a few years back) and I had remembered loving it just as much then. It has so much flavor (use sweetened coconut milk and add crushed cashews).

Big Bear Lake, CA 

*My sleep has been terrible the past several nights. It takes 4+ hours to get to sleep, and I still wake up before 6:00 a.m. It's completely in my head, which is almost worse because I can't pop a pill for that. :( I've done my best to still enjoy my days with the kids and our activities, but fatigue and headaches can sometimes make that difficult.

*Kendall got braces (on her two front teeth) a couple of days ago. She was such a trooper.

*Chris recently bought a membership to Sam's Club on Groupon. While we don't like it quite as much as Costco, the kids love the fact that their foodcourt has ICEES and soft pretzels. After their orthodontist appointment, I promised them a visit. :)

*This morning Kendall had a friend over for a playdate. We decided the piggies needed a walk. :)

*We are now on the second Harry Potter book and Kendall is officially a fan. I've been so surprised at how hard it still is to get a hold of the books. They are always checked out and we have to wait a while to get a copy. I found a bootleg copy of the book online, so we've been reading that until we can get an actual copy. :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Last Saturday we drove to Reno to visit Chris' aunt Noonie and Deb. We had last visited them a few years prior and had just as good of a trip this time around. They live in the most beautiful setting and we took lots of fun outings with plenty of down time in between.

Last time we were up, we bought each of the kids a Lego set for the trip. We found this to be an excellent activity (occupying lots of time!) for them during down times at the house.

The kids and I got to spend a lot of time together, just the three of us. Noonie and Deb are fellow golf fans, so while they golfed, we found fun things to do. On Sunday morning we went to a trampoline park. The kids LOVED the climbing wall.

That afternoon, some of their friends opened up their home to us and let the kids swim. This picture doesn't do their view justice. So beautiful.

Each night, we ate dinner outside on their patio. Their home is situated in a wooded area and a highlight for all of us were our nights relaxing and talking during dinner and into the night. The first night they had planned some S'mores roasting at their fire pit.

The next day was lake day. Instead of going to Tahoe, we went to Donner lake. It was less crowded and the water was warmer. We rented a couple of paddle boards (which I loved...I could do that every day) and picnicked. 

That night we went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. The kids were exhausted, but the promise of getting their own piece of cheesecake made them beyond eager to go. :)

The next day was the 4th of July. During the morning, we took a walk down a creek a couple blocks from their house.

The country club they belong to held a barbecue, complete with water activities for the kids. Cameron liked going in the dunk tank. :)

Here is Chris helping Cameron during a putting contest.

Kendall, teaching Deb how to play Spot-it.

We had such a wonderful visit and felt so spoiled. It's quite nice having family live in such an idyllic setting, in addition to being so willing to host all four of us. :)

After four nights, we drove back down to Chris' parents. It was super hot, so the kids didn't play outside very much. They did take a turn on the swing. I snuck out and caught this syrupy sweet picture before they knew I was there. :)

They got in a couple, very rambunctious games of Yahoo (Aggravation).

Debbie treated us to pedicures. This was Kendall's first ever. She was quite a fan. :)

I've said before that saying we eat well up there is an understatement. Here we are at one of our many yummy meals (Tri-tip, baked potato casserole, potato salad, corn on the cob, squash, homemade rolls, fruit salad).

I also got in four Hallmark movies!! Some of my favorite times during our visits are after the kids go to bed. Chris and Wayne watch baseball in another room and Debbie and I watch movies in the living room. Pair this with homemade ice cream and cake...and you have some VERY relaxing evenings. :)

While it is nice to be home, we all agree that the past week held some pretty amazing memories. :)